Airplane Design Reassures Hygiene-Conscious Travellers
Echoing the innovative airplane redesigns previously featured on The Brief, London studio PriestmanGoode proposes an update that uses smart textiles and embedded tech to showcase the cabin’s cleanliness. This shrewd proposal acknowledges today’s air passengers’ heightened understanding of hygiene, as covered in Profiling Future Travellers.
Dubbed PureSkies, the concept offers new formats for business and economy class that boast private passenger areas, reduced touchpoints and antimicrobial, UV-responsive textiles for reassurance. Upholstered surfaces appear blue when passengers enter the cabin – indicating that they were recently sanitised by UV lights – then fade to warm orange over the course of the flight (see CMF Industry View: Automotive & Transport for more on how these smart textiles function). This hygiene-conscious design upgrades the wellness-focused cabin we profile in Elastic Airlines for post-pandemic consumers.
In business class, the same responsive fabric is used as full-length curtains that divide passenger areas into private pods. These customers have an in-flight entertainment system but, to reduce potentially germ-ridden touchscreens and remote controls, they’re accessed through their own personal devices – giving passengers more control over the surfaces they touch.
A similar pod-like structure divides economy class, with seating banks arranged into pods. Plastic screens between every other row aim to reduce the perceived amount of contamination between passengers. To eliminate so-called “dirt traps”, seat-back pouches are swapped for bag clips, while tray tables are replaced with clip-ons that passengers can rent, freshly sanitised, from attendants. In-flight entertainment is removed entirely, and limited to access on passengers’ own smartphones.
This responsive concept illustrates how travel companies, or any brand operating in a high-traffic area, can embed hygiene reassurances into every touchpoint of the consumer experience – a topic we unpick for the aviation industry in Covid-19 + Airlines. For more on how consumer consciousness around cleanliness will shift design trends at large, see Post-Covid Products: Hygiene & Social Distancing.